Recording P22 direct - electric & piezo

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by jrw32, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. jrw32

    jrw32 New Member

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    I'm trying to figure out what I need to get the best direct recording results from my P22, both electric & acoustic tones. I'm running straight into a basic USB audio interface>Mac, and using amp sims for both electric & acoustic tones. I'm getting passable tones, but wondering what I can do to get better/cleaner recordings of both signals.

    What do my fellow P22 owners use to record direct, both from the electric & piezo outputs? What gear are you running through? Do you use both active and direct boxes for each output, preamps, etc?

    Thanks.
     
  2. goat-n-gitter

    goat-n-gitter Dismembered

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    For the electric tones on my P22, it's hard to beat mic'ing an amplifier. When I can't do that, for just "scratchpad" tones, I use my old POD XT, although I am looking to upgrade it to a Fractal AX8 in the near future. On the rare occasion that I decide to use an amp sim plugin, an active direct box will do the best, although you can get by with passive in a pinch. Does your audio interface have a Hi-Z instrument input? That will work in lieu of a direct box if you have one. I occasionally use Guitar Rig or a couple other amp sim plugins in my Windows based recording rig.
    For the piezo acoustic tones, I have an older Zoom A2 acoustic modeling processor and a TC Electronic Bodyrez pedal that I use together to make the tone sound a bit more natural, but I only use the piezo for scratch tracks or special effects. I have not found a piezo sound yet that I would want to keep as an acoustic guitar track compared to using a decent microphone on an acoustic guitar. Even a cheap acoustic (as long as it's in tune) will sound better recorded with a microphone than the piezo signal from a lightly strung solidbody - in my opinion. I have heard a couple of guitarists get really good results using the impulse modeling (or whatever that feature is called) in a Fractal AxeFX II, Alex Lifeson and Eric Gillette (of the Neal Morse Band), but we're talking very high dollar gear.

    Now, for playing with a band and having the versatility to switch tones mid song, the P22 can't be beat, I absolutely love mine - you just have to know its' limitations.
     
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  3. jrw32

    jrw32 New Member

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    Tom, thanks for your response. Unfortunately, I live in a small apartment with thin walls and nosy neighbors, so don't have the luxury of mic'ing my amps, and rarely my acoustic. So recording the P22 direct with amp and acoustic sims is the best/most flexible option for me right now.

    I'm using S-Gear and BiasFX with amp/acoustic sims/IRs through a basic Focusrite Scarlett Solo which claims to have a Hi-Z input, though I've been reading that I'll get a cleaner signal/improved tones using a high quality DI box like the Countryman Type 85. I might have to make the plunge, but seeing as it's an active direct box am unsure if it will work with the piezo output as well? Thanks again.

     
  4. ViperDoc

    ViperDoc Plugged In.

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    I can vouch for the Axe FX quality, it's extremely versatile and hard to beat. It's potential is virtually unlimited.

    For similar functionality at one fourth the price, consider the Eleven Rack from Avid, which comes with a complete set of ProTools software and plugins.

    Either way you track your piezo, don't forget about your option of re-amping that dry signal into whatever you wish. The Eleven Rack has a built-in re-amp circuit and pre-amp, but you can set it up without it on your board.

    If you want to drop $1000 on an isolation recording cabinet, the Rivera Silent Sister is pretty cool.
     
  5. goat-n-gitter

    goat-n-gitter Dismembered

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    Here is a short demo to illustrate what the TC BodyRez pedal and the Zoom A2 acoustic processor can do for your piezo sound. I am using the balancing transformer in my Lehle little dual switcher instead of a direct box, and it is recorded with the mic pre in my Roland Studio Capture audio interface.
    1st pass - P22 piezo direct
    2nd pass - TC Electronics BodyRez pedal engaged
    3rd pass - TC BodyRez and Zoom A2 (D28 model and slight compression)
    4th pass - Solid top Japanese D-41 copy recorded with AT-4033 condenser mic, just to show the contrast against a real mic'd acoustic guitar

    https://soundcloud.com/goat-n-gitter/prs-p22-tc-bodyrez-demo
     
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  6. Goldfixer

    Goldfixer Is it football season yet?

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    Line 6 Helix can process both signals independently, and sound incredible as well
     
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  7. beas

    beas I Don't Re-Member

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    I have patches on the Helix specifically designed for the P22 using acoustic impulse responses for live stuff. I am just using the mini toggle to go from magnetics to the piezo pickup, The Helix is fantastic with the P22 and is a great interface for recording guitar, as well.
     
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  8. goat-n-gitter

    goat-n-gitter Dismembered

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    I hate you both ;), I was leaning towards the Fractal AX8, (I like its' amps and FX a bit better from what I've heard) but now you've got me thinking the Helix might be a better overall package for us P22/P24/P245/HB piezo users.
     
  9. Johan Allard

    Johan Allard New Member

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    I use my P245 SH with my Ax8 and it sounds fantastic. I also use an acoustic preset with an acoustic IR and switch the mini toggle to use the piezo as well. Works very well. There's also really good sounding acoustic emulator presets for magnetic pickups if you want. I absolutely don't think the Helix is a better overall package than the Ax8, for piezo or magnetic pickups.

    Not to make this a vs thread - there's many people that love their Helix's, there's many people that love their Ax8's. You have to make up your own mind, but you definitely won't be lacking with the Ax8 when using a piezo guitar.
     
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  10. JohnPRS

    JohnPRS New Member

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    Using Fractal Axe FX

     
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  11. jrw32

    jrw32 New Member

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    Thanks @goat-n-gitter and @JohnPRS for the audio/video clips...sounds really good! The Axe FX and Helix are out of my price range, so I think I'm going to try a direct box and some acoustic IRs to see if they improve the tones at all.
     

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